The 15 Big Basics of Business

Several years ago, Robert Fulghum’s little book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten swept America by storm with its simple reminder that the world would be a better place if adults would only remember to practice the lessons we normally learn in kindergarten, lessons like cleaning up after ourselves and being kind to one another.

As many business owners struggle through the economic downturn, there’s been no shortage of advice on how to get our houses in order. Much of the advice calls for a comprehensive, A-Z review of every process, procedure, product and policy of our businesses. And while that may be necessary, sometimes it’s also important to be reminded to do the simple, everyday things that just make good business sense.

Marilyn Johnson, vice president of market development at IBM, did just that yesterday as she reminded NAWBO members gathered at the national Women’s Business Conference in Chicago of these 14 simple ways to power their business dream:

  1. Stay connected. Network, and be sure to hold on to and follow up with those contacts.
  2. Stay positive. Look at a glass of champagne half FULL of bubbles. It’s important to see champagne in the glass and not water, because we need to be positive about and celebrate our accomplishments.
  3. Sharpen your elevator pitch. And make sure it’s fine-tuneed according to who you’re riding the elevator with.
  4. Retool and repackage your biz. Above all, stay relevant.
  5. Collaborate with other businesses. Be sure to not only look for opportunities but also to give opportunities to others.
  6. Find out how to tap into stimulus money. Focus on creating jobs and green initiatives.
  7. Grow and glow.
  8. Ensure your understanding of your customers’ needs.
  9. Read. And not just business books. Make sure you know what’s going on around you that’s affecting your industry, your customers and your community.
  10. Use IT solutions to grow your business. Technology can help you be more adaptable and can help you redefine your business and achieve productivity gains.
  11. Think of yourself as a global business. Think you’re not global? You are if you have a Web site—anyone around the world can see your business.
  12. Value the people who work with you and for you. Say thank you.
  13. Power yourself with values. You can’t trade integrity, loyalty and honesty for any amount of innovation.
  14. Be a living example. Serve with selflessness and optimism.

And I’ll add one more to the list from a businessman who has given Kansas City entrepreneurs so much:

15. Be a mentor. Pass it on. ~ Barnett Helzberg

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About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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